Writing means learning skill after skill.
No longer are writers, or any profession for that matter, stuck at one position. They always wear multiple hats. They can be marketers, data analysts, video creators, teachers, consultants and so many more.
Writing, while still challenging, is not a dull and dry job. It's extremely exciting and the opportunities are endless for people who look for them.
If you have decided to start writing and commit to it for quite some time, you are likely to develop a professional skill set.
Here are 3 skills that you will absolutely possess once you come on board:
In a world filled with information, critical thinking is a much-desired skill.
It's the smart evaluation and interpretation of information to form a conclusion or choose a course of action instead of reading something reactively and saying: "That's a fact" that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Critical thinking is an ineliminable companion in your writing journey.
It'll start with being critical of yourself and your content.
"Is this data correct? Can this sentence be simplified further? Will a ten-year-old be able to understand what the key message is here?"
Then you will be critical when reading other people's pieces.
"How relevant and accurate is his presented data? She is a great writer, but I have to disagree with what she is putting forth because of X and Y. I don't totally get what they are saying at the moment so I will have to look into this matter further before coming to a conclusion."
I can only speak from experience, but this skill seems not as common as it should be.
Just think, how many social media posts containing an outdated piece of information or that are stolen somewhere else without the original creator's permission but still get tons of likes, shares, and comments, have you come across? How many shallow and one-dimensional podcast episodes have you stumbled upon, curious to find out why they have been all over your newsfeed, only to realize that they were created by a so-called influencer who has a huge fanbase for god knows why?
It seems that some people will just buy whatever is posted online today without checking the validity, relevancy, accuracy, breadth, and depth.
You will not be some people, especially when you write.
A set of marketing/communication skills
I used to think writer is the best job for me as an introvert since no talking with strangers is needed.
Never had I thought that it might just require more communication than some other jobs.
Writing of course is the first communication method. But you might want to resort to a visual communication method to grab attention, like creating videos or designing a unique thumbnail, so that's two more skills (kind of) obtained.
Then you'd like to get inside your readers' heads so you can create something valuable for them. That's when you listen and analyze.
What do your readers say in the comments? Why do some of your articles perform better than others? What do these numbers mean? Answering these questions to pump out more content that serves your audience means engaging in two-way communication and that makes you better than most of the brands on the market.
Talking about brands, there will come a day when you have to make yourself a brand. That means getting yourself out there and doing some serious personal branding.
You'll launch a website or an online portfolio showcasing all of your work and achievements.
You'll write your own Potential Clients and Where To Find Them series (Yes that's a Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts reference).
You'll learn how and when to send cold pitches to clients. You'll figure out what details to include and exclude in your pitch.
You'll research case studies and best practices and apply insightful pieces of advice from veterans to improve your marketing skill.
Who knows? One of these days your dream client will send you an email and your life will never be the same again.
Time management skill
Writers don't write because they have time. They write because they make time.
Taking this job seriously means no more "I just don't have the time" excuse.
You'll set your priorities straight and get to work because you get the dopamine from hitting publish. You'll identify the perfect period in a day for writing and you'll do everything in your power to keep it yours. You'll find sitting down to write until you hit that 2000-word mark non-negotiable.
When you are a writer, you'll plan out your days and follow the schedule religiously, because it matters to you and many other people who find value in your writing that you show up.
And then when you are asked to demonstrate your time management skill in a job interview, the recruiter will be impressed to hear a specific answer with both actions and result presented, instead of getting an "I know how to prioritize my tasks, period" response.
It's crucial to mention that just like writing, obtaining all of the aforementioned skills will not be easy. It's lots of hard work, great effort, and a huge commitment.
But once you have reached the other side of the tunnel, you'll be a much better version of your old self and it will all be worth it.
You will certainly gain the following skills among many others while writing:
- Critical Thinking skill
- Marketing/Communication skills: writing, video editing, (basic) designing, data analyzing, listening, personal branding
- Time management skill
So begin writing today. Your life will be much different in one year, I promise you.